7 Football Stadiums That Are Closest Together

 
 
DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - SEPTEMBER 27, A general view of Moses Mabhida during Fifa inspection on September 27, 2009 in Durban, South Africa.

I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with football stadiums, and if you’re anywhere near as odd as me, maybe you are too.

From the abandoned Avanhard Stadium in Pripyat near the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster and proper old school shed-like non-league grounds all the way up to the enormous modern bowl-like stadiums that have become increasingly common in recent times. If I’m visiting a city or country, I’m a bit gutted if I don’t get to see their football stadium, or even better - stadiums.

Today we’re looking at a whole host of locations where you’d get a bit of a two-for-one deal when going to view a stadium, since we are interested in seven stadiums that are particularly close together. Now, I want to be clear on the criteria. I’m not including stadiums built for training, reserve team or youth team football, so there’ll be no Camp Nou and the Mini Estadi or the Signul Iduna Park and the Stadion Rote Erde.

There also has to be some kind of restriction on what constitutes a stadium. If your Sunday league team White Hart Athletic plays on a field with White Hart Park Avenue playing on a pitch directly adjacent to it, don’t be surprised that you don’t feature. I haven’t put in a direct criteria, say a capacity of a few thousand, but it needs to have recognisable infrastructure and host or have hosted a respectable level of football. Measurements are from centre circle to centre circle as the crow flies.

Here are our 7 football stadiums that are closest together:

7. Moses Mabhida Stadium and Jonsson Kings Park Stadium

When the first entry in this seven looks like this, you know we’re dealing with seven stadiums that are pretty close together. As hard as it may be to believe, the 449 metres that separate the centre circles at the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the Jonsson Kings Park Stadium in Durban, South Africa, is only enough to put the ground in seventh. The Moses Mabhida Stadium is the more recent development, opened in 2009 in preparation for South African hosting the 2010 World Cup, and it has a capacity of 56,000. The Jonsson Kings Park Stadium opened in 1958 and has a similar capacity of 52,000. Whilst the Kings Park Stadium is primarily a rugby union venue now, it has hosted high-profile football matches such as the African Cup of Nations and top flight South African football, so we felt it was eligible for this seven.

6. Teslim Balogun Stadium and the National Stadium

The teams of Switzerland and Colombia are seen prior to the FIFA U17 World Cup Semi Final match between Colombia and Switzerland at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Lagos,...The teams of Switzerland and Colombia are seen prior to the FIFA U17 World Cup Semi Final match between Colombia and Switzerland at the Teslim Balogun Stadium on November 12, 2009 in Lagos,...

There’s very little to split the first two entrants in this seven, both of whom have centre circles roughly 0.3 miles apart. Located in Lagos, Nigeria, the Teslim Balogun and National stadiums are separated only by a nightclub, a police station and a Chinese restaurant. The Teslim Balogun is the home of First Bank FC, it has a capacity of a little over 24,000 and has played host to the Nigerian FA Cup final and some games at the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup. The National Stadium is a multi-purpose arena used for a multitude of sports. It has a current capacity of 45,000, a record attendance of 85,000, and has hosted two African Cup of Nations finals and World Cup qualifying matches.

5. Estadio Libertadores de America and Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Peron

It is little surprise that Argentine giants Club Atletico Independiente and Racing Club are such fierce rivals, when just 385 metres separates the centre circles at each clubs stadium. Two of the traditional ‘Big Five’ in Argentina, Independiente and Racing Club rank third and fourth in terms of support in Argentina behind only River Plate and Boca Juniors according to surveys. The Estadio Libertadores de America is the 50,000+ capacity home of Independiente, and it was a state-of-the-art ground as the first cement stadium in South America when it opened in 1928. The Estadio Presidente Juan Domingo Peron, opened in 1950, now probably looks like the more impressive of the two though. With a capacity exceeding the Libertadores by around 10,000, the Juan Domingo Peron is the third biggest football stadium in Argentina. Between them, the two grounds have hosted numerous Copa Libertadores finals and Argentina internationals.

4. Dens Park and Tannadice Park

July 30th 2017, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish league Cup football, group stages, Dundee versus Dundee United; Dens Park, home of Dundee and Tannadice Park, home of Dundee United are less than...July 30th 2017, Dundee, Scotland; Scottish league Cup football, group stages, Dundee versus Dundee United; Dens Park, home of Dundee and Tannadice Park, home of Dundee United are less than...

Much like the one between Independiente and Racing, the rivalry between Dundee and Dundee United is an intense one. As you can see, the two clubs home grounds are located virtually next door to one and another, with the 280 metres separating the two centre spots making these two the closest professional grounds in Britain. In 167 meetings, Dundee United have got the better of Dundee 78 times in comparison to Dundee’s 48 wins between the two clubs. Dundee United’s stadium, Tannadice Park, is also a little larger than Dens Park, with a capacity of just over 14,000.

3. Osterbro Stadium and Parken Stadium

Up into the top three and third place takes us to the Danish capital of Copenhagen. The Parken Stadium is the biggest stadium in Denmark, with a 38,065 all-seater capacity, and it is the home of both FC Copenhagen and the Danish national team. The Osterbro Stadium, with a centre circle only 220 metres from the Parken Stadium, is the 25th largest stadium in Denmark. A joint football and athletics stadium with a capacity of 7,000, the Osterbro Stadium is the home of two Danish second tier teams whose names I daren’t try to pronounce.

2. Hidegkuti Nandor Stadion and Sport Utcai Stadium

Ultras (Green Monsters) of Ferencvarosi TC protest with banners against head coach Thomas Doll (image not shown) during the Hungarian OTP Bank Liga match between MTK Budapest and...Ultras (Green Monsters) of Ferencvarosi TC protest with banners against head coach Thomas Doll (image not shown) during the Hungarian OTP Bank Liga match between MTK Budapest and...

Two of the smallest stadiums in this seven, the Hidegkuti Nandor Stadion and the Sport Utcai Stadium both still meet all the criteria to qualify here. When you see just how close the two grounds are together, just 157 metres between the two centre spots, I hope that raises the suspense for top spot. These two are both located in Budapest, and we’ll start with the Hidegkuti Nandor Stadion, unsurprisingly named after the great Hungarian withdrawn forward Nandor Hidegkuti. The stadium is home to MTK Budapest, the second most successful club in Hungary, who were relegated from the top flight last season, and has a capacity of 5,322. The Sport Utcai Stadium is around half that size, with a capacity of 2,508, and it is the home of third tier side BKV Elore.

1. Parque Palermo and the Parque Luis Mendez Piana

Uruguay is a small but football-obsessed country, and nowhere is that more immediately apparent than at the site of the Parque Battle. The park is the home of one of the world’s great football stadiums, the Estadio Centenario, which was built for the inaugural FIFA World Cup in 1930, and can hold over 60,000 spectators. It isn’t the Centenario which makes this seven though, although it could at just 261 metres from the Parque Luis Mendez Piana, but the two stadiums closest together are the Parque Palermo and the Parque Luis Mendez Piana.

Both are fairly small, the Parque Palermo having a capacity of 6,500 and the Parque Mendez Piana just 4,000. They are also both home to Uruguayan second division teams, namely Central Espanol in the Parque Palermo’s case and Miramar Misiones in the Parque Mendez Piana’s. With just 113 metres separating the two centre circles, meaning Usain Bolt could run from one centre spot to the other in a little over 10 seconds, one could ask the question why they didn’t just decide to ground share.

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